Our intentions: Looking at how the Inland Revenue Department tracks the benefits of its Business Transformation programme

27 August 2019: The Inland Revenue Department is spending between $1 billion and $1.7 billion on its Business Transformation programme, modernising New Zealand’s revenue system. We’re interested in whether this programme is going to deliver the benefits expected from it.

The Business Transformation programme is of critical importance to New Zealand, because Inland Revenue collects more than 80% of the Crown’s revenue. It also works with other government departments to administer programmes like Working for Families and the Student Loan Scheme. Last year, Inland Revenue collected more than $73 billion in taxes.

The Business Transformation programme involves more than just updating a computer system; it should change the way Inland Revenue works with taxpayers, including simplifying services and improving how easily the system can adjust to changes in policy and legislation. Alongside this, Government should be better able to analyse taxpayer data to provide improved outcomes for taxpayers and the Crown

Once the transformation is complete, the revenue system should cost less to run and accommodate government policy changes faster, cheaper, and more effectively. It should also make it easier, cheaper, and faster for businesses and individuals in New Zealand to comply with tax obligations.

Due to its national significance, we have an ongoing interest in this Business Transformation programme.

What we’re focusing on

Benefits realisation is of critical importance for any large programme of work. To look at how Inland Revenue is doing this, we are asking these questions:

  • Does Inland Revenue have an effective framework for managing, measuring, and reporting on Business Transformation benefits realisation?
  • How well is it tracking to realise the expected benefits?
  • What lessons can others completing large business transformation programmes – in the public or the private sector – learn from this?

The difference we expect to make

Our work will give New Zealanders independent assurance about Inland Revenue’s ability to measure and report on the benefits of the programme. We will: 

  • provide assurance to New Zealanders that  Inland Revenue’s reporting on the benefits is reliable, valid, and meaningful; and
  • see whether the programme is on track to deliver these benefits.

Bill RobertsonThe contact person for this audit is the Sector Manager for Inland Revenue, Bill Robertson.

Please use the feedback form on the right if you’d like to interview Bill about this audit, make a suggestion, or ask a question.

We expect to complete this work in the first quarter of 2020.